Anyone that has started a business knows how difficult it can be to stay in business; as well as keep up with all the changes in technology, customer needs and the consumer’s ability to have a plethora of choices where they invest their money. Most businesses go out of business within the first three years of business. Staying in business for 20 years is no small feat, and should be celebrated.
So, that’s what I did. I travelled to the beautiful island of St. Maartin to visit one of my clients and celebrate their 20 years of business.
Jiffy Service Center is owned by the dynamic husband and wife team of Francisco and Soraida Guerrero. Francisco and his team handle all the mechanical responsibilities of the business, while Soraida handles operations, marketing, sales and growth opportunities.
When I started working with this amazing duo, they had two concerns: Growing the business and continuing to serve up excellent service to their existing clients, as well as new ones.
When Jiffy was started 20 years ago, they were the only company on their street offering tire service to the local economy. Since they started, several other businesses have popped up in the area, seven within a three-mile radius. This means that Jiffy must stay on their toes to keep up with the growing competition.
Some of the challenges the business face now is to expand into new service categories, secure current client satisfaction and attract new clients. When I came to visit, we set down and came up with a game plan to help ensure the businesses future success and position them to celebrate another 20 years.
Here is a recap of what I shared with the two business owners, hopefully you can apply these ideas to your business…
First, I recommended them for hiring a business coach to help them navigate these new waters. Many businesses don’t give themselves the opportunity to succeed because they don’t invest in their personal and business growth. Operating a business is tough. There is no way around it. There are too many factors to consider and for many business owners, they lack the know-how. That’s not a negative thing, like me, when you started your business, you did so to provide a skill, service or product. To be honest, many of us didn’t start a business to “Operate A Business.” We started our business to do what we love, but all the other stuff gets in the way, lol.
We took a hard look at the business and ask the tough questions. I asked them how they felt about the business, were they still having fun and enjoying coming to work everyday. Could they see themselves doing this business another 20 years? As your business grows, you need to ensure you are still having fun. If you are not, it may be time to start looking at an exit strategy. This could mean selling your business or handing it down to a child or family member.
Next, we looked at some of the opportunities the market was presenting to the business. In 20 years, the market has gone through several changes. More people are driving on the island, more women are driving, there is great growth on the island, so we wanted to look at new possibilities. If you look at how your market is growing, changing and evolving, you can find new opportunities as well.
After we sat down and looked over the business, we walked around the shop to see what opportunities there were to give the business a face-lift. Throughout the years, it will be necessary to give your business a new look, feel and design. Sometimes changing a few things around the office can give you a new energy and excitement. What small changes can you make in your business to give it a new freshness. Your clients will appreciate the new changes most of the time and it could spark them to share your business with family and friends.
The success of your business heavily relies on your ability to evolve with the times. I was so excited to celebrate 20 years of business with my clients. But I was even more excited that they are not resting on their past accomplishments, they are being aggressive about their success and next 20 years. Bravo Francisco, Soraida and Jiffy Service Center, here’s to another 20 years serving the great people of St. Maartin!!!
Dr. Will Moreland
America’s #1 Leadership Life Trainer & Speaker